Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trek Sawyer-First Impressions

Ok, I could keep this review short and simple words-Really excited, excited, what the #@%!, hmmm, and excited again, but that wouldnt be much of a review, huh. First off, the skinny on the frame and it's highlights. It platinum steel, which is not the OX II version. It of course has a striking profile that is a harkening to the klunker days. The first thing you notice, or at least I did, is the split top tube runs the entire length of the rig, not the usual method. I will get to more on this later. It has a plain jane look, which is great. No hideous decals, just a satin grey finish-very industrial looking. Sliding dropouts are a huge improvement as well, which are split for running a belt drive. Cable routing is neatly tucked away under the split tubes and has guides for you gear heads as well.

So on with the show. I took a mild spill on my Superlfy Elite HT-should have known not to get a geared bike- and needs some repair work, I will leave it at that. Getting a crash replacement was not in the cards right now, so I opted for the feel of steel... again-The Sawyer. I was really excited to get this a give it a go at last weeks 12 hours of Lodi, but due to the forks being on back order, it had to "weight." To be honest, once I pulled it out of the box and put it on the scale-mistake on my part, I had to recalibrate the scale a few times just to be sure that the reading was accurate. Much to my dismay, it was. This frame is not for the consumate weight weenie. It comes in at...ready....set...7lbs! That would explain the pain in my lower back when I pulled it from its moorings. Wow, what on earth am I going to do with this thing. I started to 2nd guess my decision on this one.

Alas, I through on some parts, nothing too special or light I might add. Stylo crank, Bontrager Race SS hub, Fisher FCC front hub, Race X Lite stem, Elixer Brakes and some other stuff. All told it is at 25lbs 8 oz. right now. Once the Reba is gone and the rigid is on and some other lighter goodies, it will be 23.9 lbs, not to bad. 

Today was the maiden voyage. There was a slight mist and overcast, so not ideal, but perfect for trying the beast. I rode Gunpowder, which is riddled with rock gardens and some steep climbs. Perfect venue. But, even as I took it off the rack and was getting ready to ride, I just didnt have that uuumph in me to ride it. So I headed off anyway. Ok, ready? Amazing! I had to get off of the bike a few times to check if the frame was cracked or something had come loose on the caboose. I have NEVER ridden a more plush HT. I used to have a Tomac MT700 technium frame from 1995 that had the aluminum front and steel rear, and that bike was amazing. This bike reminds of that, but one step higher. The weight was not an issue at all. It was slightly noticeable on longer, out of the saddle efforts, but honestly, I have a Superfly SS and Rig and 2 Ferrous, so I am used to riding sub 20lb rigs. Over rocks and roots, this bike felt like a softail. Really, I could swear I had an inch of travel in the rear. Downhills was a blast, just sit back and enjoy your flight. Remember the split top tubes? I think that is where this baby gets its plush feel from. This beauty has more curves than the Venus De Milo.

The FCC front hub? Super stiff. I never ride with a suspension fork other than for this ride, so for those of you sissies that cant hack the rigid feel, this hub is amazing. Grab this sucka and try to move it back and forth. It halped the tracking of that stupid suspension fork, bit on my rigids, it is lazer accurate and light. 

So, in closing to this 1st ride review, I really still cant believe how this rode. If you live in a particularly rocky area, this could be your bike. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a super comfy, SS or geared ride. I am re-excited to be riding this piece of rolling artwork. Will this be my choice for every race, no, but it will certainly find its way on the race course this year, and who knows-My descision may change and this could be my everyday race sled by the end of this race season. Over and Out!